April 9, 2013
An attempt to delay implementation of stormwater clean-up fees that will cost Maryland property owners millions come July failed in the legislature’s final day. The delay died after it was attached to a bill exempting nonprofits and government agencies from the fees called “the rain tax" by critics. [...more]
March 29, 2013
Just 25 days after it was introduced, the Maryland Senate enacted the first gas tax hike in 21 years, sending the governor a 10 to 12 cent per gallon increase by 2015. The bill calls for the tax to go even higher -- it will rise automatically in future years. [...more]
March 24, 2013
A bill continuing Maryland’s practice of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants received preliminary approval from state senators Friday, paving the way for a final vote on the legislation.
This Senate legislation was sponsored by Sen. Victor Ramirez, a longtime advocate for Maryland’s immigrant community who is once again facing resistance for his pro-immigrant policies from Republicans who argue that illegal immigrants should not receive the benefits of citizenship. [...more]
March 21, 2013
A bill to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10 an hour died in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. It was defeated in an 8-3 vote with several senators explaining that they opposed the legislation in spite of their sympathy for low-wage workers because the timing was not right for a wage increase. [...more]
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget passed the Senate in a landslide vote, with only five Republicans voting against it and seven Republicans voting in favor along with 35 of their Democratic colleagues.
The passage of a $36.8 billion budget was preceded by an exceptionally short debate, which lasted only an hour and included no Republican proposals to cut state spending in fiscal year 2014. [...more]
March 11, 2013
The Maryland Senate gave its approval to offshore wind energy on Friday, but not before a heated debate questioning whether it is a wise decision for the state to subsidize and invest in the developing technology. Proponents described it as a forward-looking law that would pave the way for energy independence and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by capitalizing on an environmentally friendly source of electricity. Opponents described the bill as “corporate welfare” and a boondoggle for taxpayers. [...more]
February 3, 2013
With the first hearing on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun control package set for a Senate hearing Wednesday, pro-gun legislators are loading up their arguments against the proposals.
The lawmakers said that O’Malley’s proposed gun-licensing fees in SB281 could exceed $400 per person, bringing the dawn of a new era when “only rich people could afford guns.” [...more]
August 29, 2012
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley made a surprise appearance in Tampa Tuesday, criticizing Republican candidate Mitt Romney and other high-profile Republicans, leading to a quick, critical response by the state's GOP convention delegates. [...more]
August 22, 2012
No one doubts that this month’s special session of the General Assembly to expand gaming wouldn’t have happened without the insistence and persistence of Senate President Mike Miller, who’s been pushing slots and gambling for a decade.
A few loose ends from the session point out Miller’s command of the process and close attention to every stray vote.
July 10, 2012
More than two dozen witnesses testified before a joint legislative committee Tuesday on proposed regulation for upgraded septic systems across the state, most of them opposing the rule change. State Department of the Environment officials who wrote the regulations –– the only proponents aside from environmentalists –– told the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review joint committee that applying best available septic technology statewide is the way to reduce nutrient sediment load in the Chesapeake Bay.